The European Union debate continues...

This year Iíve made it my resolution to speak out more about Europe writes Peter Luff MP. In my last column I debunked some of the myths about the EU, and this time I want to focus on the positives Ė things that bring real benefits to all of us in Droitwich and the rest of the country.
There are three main reasons to challenge the dangerous idea that we are better off out of the European Union.

First is the role the EU has played in bringing peace and stability to the continent. The spread of liberal democracy across the mainland of Europe is probably the EUís greatest achievement. Of course it didnít do it alone (NATO, for example, made a huge contribution too), but the EU is central to the peace we now take for granted.

Second, Britain gains influence from its membership. In or out of the EU, what happens there affects us directly. British jobs in the aerospace and automotive sectors depend on this. Itís far better to be in, arguing for our interests (and often winning), than outside taking what weíre given like Norway Ė and still making a big contribution to the EUís coffers for the privilege.

Third, we are a small island in a quickly changing world. Our population is less than 1 per cent of the world total and our economy is less than 4 per cent of global GDP. Together the EU is 25 per cent of global GDP. As economies such as China, Brazil and Russia continue to grow, our membership of the European Union ensures Britain continues to play a leading role in the world economy.

That is not to say that there arenít things about our relationship that need to change. And Iíll write about them next time. But the way forward is reform, not withdrawal.


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